The new normal for working out will start Saturday when gyms will be allowed to reopen in general community quarantine areas. For shared equipment, gloves will be required, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.
Those going to gyms and fitness centers will be required to wear face masks and observe physical distancing, Lopez said. Operators of the structures must ensure good air circulation; and open air operations are better, he said. Lopez did not immediately specify the type of gloves required specifically for the GCQ.
For grooming services that will be allowed to reopen under GCQ and MGCQ, gloves and cover-alls are a "given," he said in a televised forum. For review centers, attendees will be limited to 10 per room. Face masks are required and face shields are encouraged, he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte extended the GCQ in Metro Manila and other urban centers until Aug. 15 while the rest of the country was placed under modified GCQ or MGCQ, the lowest in the government's four-step quarantine system. Lockdowns will be targeted per barangay, where face shields will be encouraged.
The GCQ and MGCQ classifications are important because they determine which businesses can operate and at what capacity. Ahead of Friday's address by the President, the trade department said the following businesses can restart at 30 percent capacity in GCQ areas: gyms, fitness centers, internet shops, tutorial and review centers, and grooming services.
In MGCQ areas, the following can resume, also at 30 percent capacity: tattoo and body piercing, live events, entertainment industries, libraries, archives, museums and cultural centers, tourist destinations, and schools for language, driving, dance, acting and voice.
The Philippines logged the biggest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in a single day on Thursday. The 3,954 confirmed infections brought the total to 89,374. Of the 3,954, 1,320 were "fresh" or newly confirmed, while 2,634 were reported late. There were 38,075 new recoveries, bringing the total recoveries to 65,064. Deaths rose to 1,983, according to DOH data.